WORLD Pompeo to meet senior DPRK official in Washington


Pompeo to meet senior DPRK official in Washington


21:42, January 18, 2019

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet here Friday with Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) ruling Korean Workers' Party Central Committee, the US State Department said on Friday.


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes a statement to the media about his recent trip to North Korea, at the White House on October 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (File photo: VCG)

Pompeo and Kim are scheduled to meet in Washington at 11 a.m. (1600GMT) Friday, the State Department said on its official website.

Traveling on a commercial plane, Kim arrived at Washington's Dulles International Airport on Thursday night and was greeted there by Stephen Biegun, the US special representative for the DPRK, according to the Republic of Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Pompeo and Kim are expected to discuss matters including the date and venue for a possible second meeting between US President Donald Trump and top DPRK leader Kim Jong-un after their first summit in Singapore last year. Both sides have said they look forward to such a meeting.

Kim Jong-un said during his recent trip to China that his country will "make efforts for the second summit between DPRK and US leaders to achieve results that will be welcomed by the international community."

Trump said on Jan. 2 that the two countries will set up a leaders' summit. "We'll probably now have another meeting. He'd like to meet, I'd like to meet. We'll set that up, we'll be setting that up in the not-too-distant future," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Kim Yong-chol was once scheduled to meet with Pompeo in New York last November, but the meeting was canceled at the last minute.

Pompeo said in early November that he was willing to see some "real progress" in talks with his DPRK interlocutor, including "an effort to make sure that the (second) summit between the two leaders can take place."

According to US media reports, Kim Yong-chol is expected to deliver a letter from Kim Jong-un to Trump.

In another development, the Foreign Ministry of Sweden confirmed on Friday that DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui has arrived in Stockholm for meetings with international experts, without providing further details.

Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, citing anonymous sources, reported earlier that a meeting between the DPRK and the United States has been arranged.

Kim Jong-un and Trump met for the first time in Singapore in June last year. According to a joint statement issued after the summit that was signed by both leaders, Washington will provide security guarantee to Pyongyang in return for the latter's commitment to denuclearization.

Follow-up discussions between Washington and Pyongyang at lower levels failed to yield substantive results due to the two sides' differences over the scale of denuclearization, the lifting of US sanctions on the DPRK, and the issuance of a war-ending declaration.

The United States requested a "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization of the DPRK, while Pyongyang insisted that denuclearization should cover all of the Korean Peninsula and be achieved through a phased approach that would also involve the withdrawal of US troops and weapons stationed on the peninsula.   

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